Wells, Evelyn Frances (1994-12). A Comparison of Interactive Color Specification Systems for Human-Computer Interfaces. Master's Thesis. Thesis uri icon


  • Color specification is a time-consuming and challenging task in computer graphics applications. The purpose of this research is to examine the color specification process in the context of current human-computer interface technology, and to investigate how certain attributes of a color specification system affect its usability during a visual color matching task. Eighteen color specification systems are compared, each composed of different combinations of color space (red-green-blue, RGB; opponent channel, OPP; hue-saturation-value, HSV), slider type (plain, static, dynamic), and background context (achromatic, chromatic). A total of 83 undergraduate students, both male and female, participated in the study. Each subject completed six trials, with each trial consisting of a set of color matches using a particular system. Color matching performance was analyzed to yield measures of time, physical effort, accuracy, and convergence speed. The systems were then compared quantitatively according to these measures and qualitatively based on preference. The results indicate that the OPP color space led to greatest convergence and most user comfort, while the RGB space ranked second in terms of convergence, and the HSV space ranked second in terms of user comfort. Among the slider types, the dynamic sliders were superior according to almost every usability measure, followed by the static sliders and then the plain sliders. Context had a mixed effect in that the achromatic background led to slower but more accurate matches than did the chromatic background.

publication date

  • December 1994